Entertaining at home is one of my favorite activities of all time, but as with all hobbies, it requires lots of thinking ahead and decision-making, from planning a prep schedule to coordinating the menu. In this series, I'll present a dish and ask you to share what you'd serve alongside it.
Here's the scenario: You're having some old friends over this weekend to soak up the Summer sun over a laid-back lunch in your backyard. You know the star course for your meal will be a Cuban sandwich, made with roast pork, ham, provolone cheese, and pickles, and spread with a layer of mustard. What would you feed your guests to accompany it? See what I'd make when you read more
This Summer, I won't be doing the tango off the coast of a tropical island, or setting sail in the Caribbean Sea. Instead, I'm enjoying the relaxing and budget-friendly staycation. But while kicking back at home, I'll be sure to incorporate tropical, Latin-tinged flavors, for a taste of the getaway I'll have someday. Case in point: a smooth, light coconut flan. In a pinch, I'll use condensed milk, or for a special weekend treat, I'll reduce the milk myself and add the solid white cream that tops coconut milk for an extra-sumptuous texture. Make either version of this exotic yet comforting dessert when you read more
Two weeks ago, I was starting to panic. Wedding season was nearly upon us and I had no bride and groom. Luckily I got a call from one of my oldest friends announcing her engagement! Giddy and excited, Ronda agreed to be my featured bride. Never one to procrastinate, Ronda and her fiance, James, are ready to celebrate with an informal engagement party. They're enthusiastic dancers, so the party will revolve around a salsa dance class. Everyone will be invited to join; after the class we'll toast the couple and enjoy a buffet of spicy Latin food. The menu will be a mix of homemade and store-bought items.
Bowls of purchased guacamole and a variety of salsas are perfect for dipping when paired with crunchy tortilla chips. Beef empanadas are filling and can be mass produced in advance. Plantain chips with chicken and mojito mango salsa are festive and delicious. A Mexican seafood cocktail packed with crab and shrimp finishes up the menu. For these recipes, read more
A few weeks ago YumSugar and I were lucky enough to speak with Food Network's newest star, the Latino sensation Ingrid Hoffmann. Born in Colombia and based out of Miami, Hoffmann is the Shakira of the culinary world — she's the first Spanish speaking celebrity chef to make the cross over and currently she has shows on both Food Network and Univision — making her the first person to have shows aired in both English and Spanish.
Like a breath of breezy ocean air, Ingrid is personable, likable, and ready to party. She has a certain flavor and spice that is apparent in both her cooking and her personality. To learn a little bit more about Ingrid and find out what her hectic schedule is like, read more
Okay, Top Chef is finally getting into the manageable numbers. Almost everyone received a little screen time, and instead of flashing each dish for a few milliseconds, the camera hovered over each plate long enough to suck them fully in. And what tasty looking plates they were...
Last night's episode started off with the cheftestants bonding in their fancy digs (honestly, season 1 and 2, you got the short end of the stick). Hung goes on about how it's all about "finesse, style, grace and elegance." Which of course, if you haven't figured out the Bravo school of editing by now, means that Hung's actions are going to somehow contradict his statement. To find out if they do, read more
Do you Zumba? Do you even know what Zumba is?
ZUMBA is a fusion of Latin and International music - dance themes creating a fun workout. The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. Zumba utilizes the principals of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body toning. It is a mixture of body sculpting movements with easy to follow dance steps. Even while browsing the website, I couldn't keep from tapping my feet to the beat. Zumba's roots come from Colombia where Beto Perez (celebrity trainer) stumbled upon latin inspired fitness in the mid 1990's.
Zumba will definitely get you sweating and it may even inspire you to take a salsa (or merengue) class. The best part? It's really easy to forget how much rhythm you may actually lack when strutting your stuff to Zumba -- If you like to dance, you'll get a kick out of Zumba. For more info and to find a Zumba class near you, check out Zumba.com.